Betting big on live sports data, Perform lays €120 million on RunningBall

After online sports broadcast specialist Perform Group went public a year ago, it promised it would succeed its acquisition of by buying more sports sites.

Now it is making a big one – Perform has offered up to €120 million ($153 million) for Switzerland-based sports data provider RunningBall.

The company employs match scouts to log over 1,000 in-game events for over 30,000 soccer games annually and is also growing in to logging data for others sports.

The company’s Pushing Feed, Trader Client and Performance Video packages are provided to clients like media outlets and live betting operators.

Reasons for the deal:

  • Perform wants to tie RunningBall data in to its existing sports video services, many of which it syndicates to online publishers. That includes plugging live match stats in to, and
  • It will also start selling RunningBall data to customers of its own existing GSM sports data syndication business.
  • And it wants to integrate the data in to its own Watch&Bet and Watch&Trade online sports gaming services.

Led by joint CEOs Oliver Slipper and Simon Denyer (pictured left and right), Perform is one of the most interesting businesses out there, ploughing ahead with building the foundations of a natively online sports media business that looks well placed for the digital years ahead.

The company is set to ride two waves – the connected TV boom (it wants to go to screens with its own-brand proposition) and the liberalisation of online gaming (bingo has proved huge online thanks to TV advertising being permitted, and betting is moving from high street to sofa).

The acquisition sees it go head-to-head with the big live sports data provider Opta, but add its video and editorial experience to the mix.

The stock market likes the deal. Perform shares jumped almost eight percent when the deal was announced in London Wednesday morning.

The price of up to €120 million is 9x RunningBall’s anticipated 2012 EBITDA, which was €7.2 million on revenue of €16.1 million. In other words, RunningBall’s margin is high.

Perform only raised £72.5 ($116.26) million in its London IPO float. But only €20 million of the RunningBall offer is made from available cash – €50 million comes in Perform shares given to RunningBall and Perform will take on debt to pay an extra up to €51 million in deferred payment.